As the seasons change, we’ve been hearing a lot of talk about Hygge (it’s pronounced “hoo-guh” BTW). If you haven’t heard of the Danish and Norwegian concept, it’s a way of life or feeling of coziness, connection with loved ones, and pleasure. It’s not a decor style or self-care practice but rather an overall feeling of comfort, wellness, and contentment. There are many ways to adopt and embrace this Danish way of living, especially as the weather gets colder and we’re all looking for more “cozy” in our lives. But one of the biggest pieces of hygge is how you make your home environment for optimal health and happiness. Take a few notes from the Danish and make your home cozier and more inviting with these 10 ways to bring hygge into your home.
1. Incorporate natural elements
There may not be a lot of green outdoors through the colder months, but that doesn’t stop the hygge-practitioners from bringing it inside to lighten and brighten their homes. Wood is another material that helps bring nature into our home for a cozier, happier feel. Wood floors, furniture, or decor can help us feel closer to nature, which is a very important part of the hygge concept. Bring more natural elements into your home, like textured pieces, lots of clay, unfinished wood, and fresh greenery.
2. Add more candles
Many people first think of candles when they think of hygge, and for good reason. The glow of candles creates the perfect atmosphere, lifting the spirits and casting warm light on a winter evening. Turning off artificial lights and opting for candles transforms any space into a cozier, more romantic, and more intimate oasis. Whether it’s during a night in alone or while entertaining close friends, there’s nothing more enticing than a room lit by candlelight. Read our complete guide to the best candles of the season to not only get more candlelight in your space but also to incorporate hygge-approved scents as well.
3. Let there be (more) light
Beyond just candles, natural light in general is a huge factor of hygge. Because the weather is cloudy and it gets dark earlier as the seasons change, the Danes take their lighting very seriously. A hygge home draws in as much natural light as possible. Think of candlelight as your go-to option for evenings, but incorporating more natural light in the home is your go-to during daylight hours. Keep curtains open and position mirrors on walls across from windows to double the natural light in your home. If your space has few windows or it gets really dark during colder months, be strategic about lamps. Choose light bulbs with a more orange tint instead of blue light, and position lamps near the coziest areas of your home (like near a favorite reading chair).
4. Put your favorite books on display
Taking a break with a good book is one of the mainstays of hygge, especially in fall and winter, when people are cooped up inside. Displaying all of your favorite classics or that stack you’ve been meaning to get to (you know the one) not only adds a cozy element to your home but will also inspire you to stay home and snuggle up with a good book. Try filling a shelf with gorgeous books or stack your favorites on coffee tables and side tables. Books have a special way of making a space feel more welcoming and lived-in (very hygge-appropriate).
5. Create “the nook”
Every hygge home needs that perfect place to curl up with a blanket and relax. In fact, there’s even a Danish word to explain this perfect little spot: hyggekrog, or a cozy corner. Think of it as your safe space where you can be at peace, read a book, and have a cup of tea or hot cocoa. To create your own hyggekrog, start with your comfiest chair or a favorite corner of your sofa. Layer pillows and throws to make your nook the coziest spot in your home, position it by a window or add a warm lamp for soft lighting, and add a side table for the perfect spot to put your favorite cup of tea.
6. Highlight warm elements
Let’s be honest: It doesn’t get much cozier than lighting a fire when the weather is cold. In fact, a living space focused around a fireplace may just be the ultimate sanctuary. To bring this into your home for year-round hygge, make the hearth the focal point in the room (rather than the TV, for example). A room built around a fireplace will help create intimacy and warmth, even when the fireplace isn’t lit. If you don’t actually have a fireplace in your home (because same), try clustering candles as a focal point, add warm lamps around the room, or have ample blankets and pillows draped on every piece of furniture. No matter what works for you and your space, make warm elements the focal point of each room.
7. Try a warm, neutral color palette
By now, you probably get that hygge is all about warmth and making your home feel inviting and comforting instead of cool. Basically, it’s the antithesis of sleek and modern. Besides actual warm elements like candles and lighting, color scheme has a major effect on how hyggelig a home feels. Cool tones or bright pops of color aren’t necessarily a no-go (the point is to evoke the feeling of home, however that feels to you), but warm neutrals like creams and beiges tend to feel more relaxing and inviting than cool gray or dark black and feel less cluttered than bright colors. If you stan a dark wall color or live for your bright sofa, you don’t have to transform your entire decor style to add hygge into your home. Simply add a few throw pillows, blankets, art work, decor pieces, or other accents in neutral colors.
8. Layer in textures
You guessed it: Texture matters too. The right tactiles are so important when it comes to hygge interiors, since the lifestyle is all about how you emotionally feel, which is represented by what you physically feel with your home decor. Aim for a variety of textures (think: soft sherpa, warm knit, and rough wood) for a comforting and balanced feel in every room. Since it’s all about how you feel rather than just how it looks, think about what textures would feel best for you and add in a variety of elements: picture running your fingers run across a wood table, being wrapped in a linen blanket, or stepping across a fur rug.
9. Incorporate vintage touches
Flea market shoppers and antique hoarders, rejoice! Ancestry and nostalgia are both important parts of the hygge life, which means vintage pieces or personal touches are crucial to making a home feel as warm and welcoming as possible. In fact, household objects, furniture, and decor should be more than just things that look nice and show off our style; they should also hold emotional value or tell a story that is personal to the owner. Incorporate vintage touches that have a history, like your grandmother’s favorite teapot, a landscape portrait your mom bought when she was in college, or even just your favorite photos of family members when they were younger. Also, think of decor shopping in terms of making memories: fill your home with items you bought from travels or recover a vintage chair you found at a flea market with your best friend.
10. Remember that simplicity is key
Lastly, remember that the hygge life is about ease, contentment, and comfort. If there’s a cluttered corner or a piece of furniture you don’t really love, you probably aren’t as content as possible when you’re enjoying your home. Only fill your space with the things that really make you happy and donate whatever doesn’t to create more simplicity. Hygge is not about extravagance but about taking pleasure in the sheer simplicity of your immediate surroundings. In other words, actually use your space for living rather than as storage for your stuff.